Anirbaan Hritiq

Tension prevailed at Athamallik forest department office in Angul district after villagers and family members of a farmer, who on Monday night committed suicide allegedly over the forest department’s humiliation, staged a dharana with the dead body on Tuesday. 

The deceased farmer has been identified as Dasarathi Nayak, a resident of Mundapada village under Athmallik block in Angul. 

According to family members’ allegations, an elephant was found dead near Nayak’s farmland days ago. In this connection, the forest department officials had taken him to their office. He was released only on Monday evening. And, he attempted to end his life in the night by consuming poison. 

Finding him in a serious condition, the family members rescued him and rushed him to the government hospital in Boudh. As his condition deteriorated, the doctors referred him to VIMSAR, Burla. However, on the way to Burla, he breathed his last. 

“The forest department officials had taken my husband to their office. They inflicted torture on him there. Because of this, he took the extreme step,” alleged the deceased’s wife.

Demanding compensation of Rs 10lakh, villagers and family members staged a demonstration in front of Kiakata forest department office in Athamallik. They also blocked the nearby road, disrupting traffic for a couple of hours. Later they withdrew their strike and roadblock following the assurance from Athamallik Tehsildar Jashobanta Dehury. 

“We will consider the case seriously and take steps as per the rules. Police will also investigate into the allegations of humiliation and action will be taken against whoever is found guilty,” said Dehury.
(Reported by Deepak Adar)